HBO recently showed a wonderful documentary called "Casting By" which featured the importance and influence of casting directors on the film industry. The grand dame of these crucial role players was Marion Dougherty. It is a testament to this woman's incredible gut instincts, who in a very real way, shaped many of the greatest films ever to come out of Hollywood. Someone who rarely got her due--no single card credit in a movie's acknowledgements of talent nor honorary Oscar for her influence by the Academy of Motion Pictures as spearheaded and petitioned by Clint Eastwood and other stars in 1991. However, hopefully this documentary, full of wonderful film clips, interviews with our greatest film stars, and other prominent casting directors, will help rectify the lack of credit Dougherty received in the past.
At one point, Marion talks about my favorite star, Al Pacino, who she went to see off-broadway in 1968 in "The Indian Wants the Bronx." She said, "that he was so good, that the hairs on the back of my neck stood up." She added that that had only happened to her 3 or 4 times in her entire life. Ah, Al Pacino. I will champion your acting brilliance to my death!
Here's how I imagine Marion Dougherty seeing Al Pacino back in the late '60's--electrified, by his sizzling performance! (-:
Here's a little film clip of the documentary:
Here's the NY Times article on many of the casting directors in the film: